Sunday, October 7, 2012

David's Surefire Tip for Driving Prostitutes Wild

Carry a large umbrella!

Perhaps I should elaborate.

The plain people of Ireland: Yes, please do, you've got our attention!
WhippingCats Management: Silence, rabble! etc etc

As I was just about to explain, in any large city, prostitutes are going to be a feature of the landscape. Here in Paris, depending on the route I choose to walk to school, I can take the Boulevard St Denis, which will take me right by all the Asian prostitutes clustered outside Gibert Jeune, or I have the option of taking Rue Blondel which is where, not to put a tooth in it, the over-the-hill prostitutes hang out. Actually, the French term for what they do is "faire le pied de grue" (they make the foot of the crane). Or, if I put my mind to it, I can avoid both blocks in question, but on a rainy morning it's not the first priority. So on Thursday morning I found myself launched down the Rue Blondel, where the "girls" were clustered unusually densely, with only my umbrella to defend myself. Let me tell you, they just LOVED that umbrella. They kept leaping out of the doorways to better admire it. Or perhaps it is an accepted superstition among the filles de joie that "un mec qui porte un grand parapluie sera muni d'un grand .... portefeuille*".

In other news, on Thursday evening I was having dinner in my favorite little neighborhood cafe, when I was witness to a touching scene. This enormous, multi-generational, American family party of about 16 people piled into the banquette for dinner. They ranged in age from 8 to about 80 and the quality of their French seemed to decline by generation; the grandmother's French, in particular, was really good. It turns out that she had gotten married in the church across from the cafe and the next day, two generations later, her granddaughter (also present at dinner) was getting married in the same church. This warmed the cockles of even my unsentimental heart. I bade them my good wishes as I left; they were entirely charming and I hope the wedding went off without a hitch.

*: You can look it up; translation engines are a dime a dozen these days.

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